BOSTON (CBS) - In Boston's North End neighborhood the sidewalks are nearly empty, and it's a sign of the time as many restaurants close for three weeks as the state issued a ban starting Tuesday on dine-in operations due to coronavirus.
Pagliuca's owner Joseph Pagliuca says he's been forced to layoff nearly 30 employees and has taken out a loan to meet the current payroll. "I'm backed up with bills, backed up with everything else," he said. "Almost two weeks now haven't paid my guys, there's no money coming in."
Restaurant owner Richie Travaglione is among those trying take-out and delivery starting Tuesday. The sign is now up at his Hanover Street restaurant Giacomo's, but he doesn't yet know if the business will follow. "We're going to try to make it work. We'll see the demand and take it from there," he said. "It's completely new to us and I'm sure to everyone else."
It's a similar story at L'Osteria restaurant which had one takeout customer Tuesday and some delivery business. The owners say the three-week dine-in closure is an enormous financial hit. "Five years ago with the snow we had to close more but after a blizzard you recover. With this I'm not sure, we're hoping to recover quickly," said Daniella DiPietrantonio.
Pastry shops were empty and takeout pizza and sandwich shops were having trouble finding customers at lunch hour. Wine shop owner Kimberly Scott isn't letting customers inside her store, but in addition to mail order, she's ready for sidewalk service. "You can come by the shop and tap on the window," Scott said. "If we don't catch your eye you can call us on the phone and we'll come out."
It's a neighborhood where foot traffic is their business, and the new reality is hard to swallow. "We're not for takeout," said Joseph Pagliuca. "We're the type of place where people come in, sit down and enjoy themselves."
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